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Deciding between two job offers

Tuesday, 3 Dec 2013 | 2:48 AM ET
laflor | Getty Images

Job offers can sometimes be like buses and come along in pairs. When people are trying to find a new job then they will go through the process of updating their CV and checking all the usual places for possible openings.

That kind of approach is bound to attract interest. And of course, if you are good at what you do then word will get around and you could find yourself with more than one offer on the table.

Even though the U.K. is still recovering from the recession, we in the recruitment sector are starting to see real signs of a return to growth in employment, and many firms are looking to take on staff.

If you are in the position of having to make a choice between job opportunities then it should be viewed in a positive way. The key is to make the most of that situation.

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Of course, the temptation will always be to go down the route of making a decision based on the money on offer. There is nothing wrong with that and if one firm is offering substantially more than the other then it can be an indication that they are the ones with the ambition, drive and financial clout.

But money should not always be the sole driver in the decision making process. Choosing a new job and a new employer is also about your long-term goals, and just as importantly, your personal happiness. Remember you could be handsomely rewarded but be stuck in a job with no prospects, and this isn't a situation you want to be in.

I would always advise people to take a step back before making a decision so you have a chance to think logically - and crucially, so you can find out as much as you can about the companies involved.

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You need to see if a company matches your ambitions and principles and whether it is the kind of business you want to entrust your future career with. Try and talk to people in the business and check out your prospective employees on the internet.

You may even want to speak to recruitment consultants in that sector - often they will know all about what different companies are like. Knowledge will give you the power to make the right choices.

Company culture is one of the most important factors to take into account. Unlike your salary, this is not something which can be negotiated - it is already set in stone. Think about when you went in for your interviews, or if you were shown around the office. Which company made you feel more comfortable? Which one had an environment where you would enjoy your work and flourish?

Remember to also consider your personal situation. You might have an incredibly tempting job offer but you need to take into account the impact it is likely to have on your loved ones and your personal life, in terms of the demands and possible commute. We all have to make sacrifices but there is a crucial work-life balance to be struck.

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Most people have a long-term career plan, and you would want a role which corresponds with this. You need to make sure that there will be a chance to build on your skills and to develop in the role. Successful people should always be looking to keep moving forward; there is no point in taking a job which will be a dead end.

If you feel you are being rushed into a decision, this may make your mind up for you. A good company will realise that moving jobs can be a major life-changing decision and give you time to consider your options. If they want you badly enough, they will be prepared to wait.

This article first appeared on James Caan's LinkedIn blog. Caan is one of the U.K.'s most successful entrepreneurs.

  • Caan is one of the U.K.'s most successful and dynamic entrepreneurs as well as the guest presenter of "The Business Class."

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